Crude oil is set to become the United States’ largest single export product for the first time in the country’s history, as it secures its place as the world’s biggest oil producer.
Exports of crude oil reached 3.99 million barrels per day (bpd) on average in the first half of this year, setting a new record. This was up 20% on the same period last year.
According to analysis from WorldCity’s Ken Roberts, who used U.S. Census Bureau data to tracks US exports, this is likely to be sustained through the rest of year, making oil the biggest export product. This is both in terms of value and volume, which is a remarkable achievement, given that crude oil exports were banned prior to 2015.
The US is now the world’s largest producer of crude oil by far, with the US Energy Information Administration currently expecting production to average almost 13 million bpd this year. This comes as shale producers like ExxonMobil, the maker of the Mobil lubricant and grease range, manage to improve their well productivity. In contrast, the world’s other two big oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, have been cutting their oil production.
Europe was the main destination for oil exports at 1.75 million bpd, with the Netherlands and UK leading the way, although almost as much volume went to Asia, particularly South Korea and China. The WTI Midland was even recently incorporated into the Brent Crude benchmarking basket, reflecting the growing importance of US crude oil in the global market.